Three north east Fife police officers awarded for bravery

The First Minister with award winners Constables Keith Leinster (L) and Craig Donaldson. 'Pic by Kenny Smith.
The First Minister with award winners Constables Keith Leinster (L) and Craig Donaldson. 'Pic by Kenny Smith.

Three brave North East Fife officers have been commended for their actions in the line of duty.

PCs Craig Donaldson, Keith Leinster and Norman Hill were honoured, along with other Fife officers, at the annual Brave@Heart awards, held at Edinburgh Castle last Tuesday.

The First Minister recognised the outstanding bravery demonstrated by staff within the emergency services, voluntary sector rescue organisations and members of the public.

In total there were 60 nominations received from emergency services and the independent validation panel chose 45 of them to receive Brave@Heart awards. A total of 36 accolades were given to professionals and nine to members of the public.

PCs Craig Donaldson and Keith Leinster were awarded for putting their own safety at risk to help others.

Constables Leinster and Donaldson answered a call in Cupar where a man had been attacked with a glass bottle. On arrival they were met by two paramedics who pointed out the attacker was standing a short distance away and brandishing several large knives.

Without warning the attacker charged waving the knives at the emergency service staff.

While trying to get away, one of the paramedics stumbled and fell to the ground. Constable Leinster grabbed hold of the paramedic who was now in serious danger and pulled him to his feet. Constable Donaldson stepped in to block the attacker’s access and after giving a verbal warning, deployed his CS spray, causing the man to stop in his tracks and drop the knives. A struggle ensued as the attacker resisted arrest. Constables Leinster and Donaldson put their own lives at risk to protect others and apprehend a dangerous criminal.

Meanwhile, PC Hill was recognised for intervening in an assault.

One evening in Tayport, while PC Hill was on patrol in a police car, he came across two men involved in an altercation.

As he left his vehicle and approached the men he saw that one was being assaulted with a knife.

PC Hill removed his baton for personal safety and briefly pursued the suspect, before returning to the injured man to provide first aid and call for help.

After circulating details of the incident on his police radio another officer in the local area saw the suspect, stopped his vehicle and pursued him. The 20-year-old was subsequently arrested and charged with attempted murder.

The intervention of PC Hill and his colleague prevented more serious injury to the victim, and ensured the suspect was quickly apprehended.

The First Minister said: “The individual acts of these officers are exceptional and they are worthy of special recognition.

“In Scotland there is a real sense of community and we must never forget how privileged we are to have such dedicated emergency professionals willing to assist even when their own lives are in danger.”